How to Add Drop Shadow to Text in Photoshop

Making a poster or adding text to a photo seems so easy but at the same time, it’s challenging because when the background is complex, the text has low readability.

But everything has a solution. In Adobe Photoshop, you can add a drop shadow to text to solve this problem. 

Besides enhancing readability, the drop shadow effect is also great for styling text and making it more eye-catching in a plain color background poster. 

I’ve been working as a graphic designer for over ten years and whenever I make effect posters, Photoshop is always my top choice because of its flexibility and ease to manipulate the effect settings. 

In this tutorial, you’ll learn three quick and easy ways to add one of the most useful effects (Drop Shadow) to your text along with some useful tips. 

Let’s dive in!

3 Ways to Add Drop Shadow to Text in Photoshop

Note: Screenshots are taken from Photoshop CC Mac version. Windows or other versions might look slightly different. 

Have your text ready? You can easily apply shadow to text using the three methods below. 

Tips: Change your character style and color before adding the drop shadow effect to see the final result better. Use the Character panel, to change the font and size of the type.

Method 1: Double click quick access 

Step 1: Double click on the text layer on the Layers panel. 

Note: Do not click on the type icon (T), because it will select the text to modify, instead of the layer.

A Layer Style window will show. 

Step 2: Check Drop Shadow on the left side of the window under Style > Blending Options.

Step 3: Adjust the drop shadow settings accordingly. You can change the blend mode, angle, opacity, distance, size, etc. 

Check the Preview box while you play with the settings to see how the effects look. 

Tips: Set the distance to a higher px for a more obvious result. You can spread the shadow by moving the Spreading slider to the right to increase its percentage, and adjust the size by moving the Size slider. 

Step 4: Click OK.

Method 2: Add a Layer Style

Step 1: Click on the fx button at the bottom of the Layers panel. 

Step 2: Check Drop Shadow. You’ll see the same Layer Style window as from the method above. 

Step 3: Change the settings and click OK. 

Method 3: From the overhead menu

Step 1: Go to the overhead menu Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow

Step 2: Same thing, the Layer Style window shows up. 

Step 3: Adjust the settings accordingly and click OK.

Super easy right?


Below are some common questions that designers have about adding a drop shadow to text in Adobe Photoshop. Do you know the answers? 

How do I add effects to text in Photoshop? 

You can add effects to text from the Add a layer style (fx) button at the bottom of the Layers panel, such as shadow, color overlay, satin, gradients, glow, etc. Click Blending Options to open the Layer Style window, check the options on the left, and adjust the settings to get the effects you want.  

How do I make text thicker in Photoshop?

Some fonts have the bold text option, you can change the character style to bold, or you can add stroke to text and increase the stroke weight. 

Can I change the shadow color in Photoshop?

Yes, you can change the shadow color in Photoshop from the Layer Style settings. Double-click on the color box and choose a new shadow color. 


You can use any of the three methods to apply the shadow effect. Find the Layer Style window as you prefer from the overhead menu or Layer panel, then the final step and result are the same. 

There’s so much you can do with the Drop Shadow effect in Adobe Photoshop. Can’t wait to see what you’ll make next! 🙂 

About June
June is an experienced graphic designer specializing in brand design. Photoshop is the essential tool that she uses every day along with other Adobe programs for her creative work.

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  • julia

    thank you so much it helped a lot!!

  • Danny Schumpert

    Thank You!

  • Anna

    Thanks! This was very helpful!

  • Eyema Faggit

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! It really helped me put a dropshadow in my Fantastic ART.

  • ThuyTran

    Thanks you. It’s really helpful

  • Nancy Brown

    Thank you so much for your valuable information.